We all know that Christmas can be an expensive time of the year, but this mother-in-law may have the answer to all your problems.

Let’s face it, Christmas is expensive, and is only getting more expensive year after year. Presents, parties, travel, food…the list is endless. One woman has told the popular parenting forum Mumsnet that her mother-in-law has decided to cut her Christmas costs by charging her family for their Christmas lunch! While the Mum was outraged at the proposal, we think it may be kind of genius…

Can See It From Both Sides

The mum said in her forum post that she can see both sides of the situation, and does understand where her mother-in-law is coming from.

“My partner just told me that his mother, who he’s having Christmas lunch with, said she wants $30 per head from him! She doesn’t want to do it all from scratch and wants to get it all pre-done so it’s more money which I understand, but he’s gutted and feels like he wants to come to my family instead now. I can see it from both sides and its hard work and can be expensive but it’s not like she’s financially destitute.”

Awkward! The Aussie tradition of ‘bringing a plate’ can be controversial enough at Christmas time, so we’re not sure how asking our relatives to pay up would go down…

Opinions Divided

Responses to the post were divided with some users expressing outrage at the mother-in-law’s proposal.

“That is horrible. We host Christmas…cannot think of anything less hospitable than setting the menu and demanding your guests pay for it.”

Others stated that contributing something to the meal really was the best way forward, but they wouldn’t object to splitting the cost.

“I would ask people to contribute by bringing specific contributions to the meal instead. When we’ve had Christmas meals as big group of friends, we split the cost.”

We think the whole thing is one giant cringe. It’s difficult to invite people for a meal and then expect them to cough up their fair share, but we’d also feel bad rocking up to someone’s house without making a contribution. Maybe asking for cash really is the best way to ensure everyone shares the burden equally? Or it could be the stingiest thing ever? We’re on the fence about this one.

Would you ask your guests to pay for Christmas lunch? Or how would you feel if you were asked to contribute to Christmas? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Why not ask everyone to share the load and each bring a dish of food?


  • Times are tough so it is understandable that she has said about charging for lunch and if she has a price. What she could do is ask one of the guests to buy say the ham someone especially if they have kids and if it is very expensive for lunch another family member is ask to contribute to the ham and so on


  • My husband proposed me at Christmas ????


  • Why can’t she ask family members to bring a plate of food they all sharing the cost and she won’t have to do it all i don’t feel the need for everyone to pay $30 if they don’t know what food is involved


  • If they planning together it’s alright.


  • I’m not to sure about this. I’d need to know what the food was going to be because I wouldn’t want to pay for something I didn’t like. Also if I had to pay then I wouldn’t be giving a gift as well.


  • It does sound a bit rough. But… think of how much money you might spend on taking a plate or plates to a Xmas lunch? Or if you ate out at a restaurant, it would be very expensive. I think a discussion should probably be had before hand and maybe there could be other alternatives. We always had every one contribute a plate/food/drink/meat etc. and it was very clear.


  • It might come over as unpleasant, but actually I agree that costs of any big event should be shared.
    Of course it’s different when I invite lonely or homeless people over for Xmas lunch to bless them….then I don’t want to share the costs at all.


  • I think it’s a good idea, takes the stress off everyone bringing something and off one person paying for it all.
    I like the idea!


  • I get it. It all adds up. But instead of putting a price per head, get everyone to bring something to share. Already ready to go before they arrive. That way it doesn’t all fall to one person to shop, cook, present and clean for xmas lunch


  • I am not against the idea, however I would prefer the bring a plate option. If you are having a BBQ, buffet type lunch this is a much easier option, to a sit down formal lunch where trying to keep dishes warm/presentable is a bit more difficult?


  • I think it’s wrong to put a price on it but it’s also wrong for guests not to contribute. Even if it’s as simple as cleaning up or at least bringing a plate so the cost is shared.


  • I would never ask my family to pay for Christmas lunch. We host most years and even have friends not just family turn up, I have never thought of asking for money, my mother will bake biscuits and my sister will bring a salad. If I was going to pay for a Christmas lunch it would be at a restaurant.


  • This is interesting, I’m not against this at all. Seems to be a really good idea I feel. We have hosted Christmas and paid for everything and really there wasn’t much gratitude or thanks about it, so the hear after we said to everyone to bring something. Some did, some didn’t. This year I have asked what they are bringing and written it down so we all know what we are contributing, we have it here due to having the space for the growing family, also cut the cost by saying just buy for the children, as adults it’s hard to think of what we want, well I find it hard as I can just buy what I want and need when I want. But I do like this idea


  • We all contribute some food for Christmas. We bring 3 cooked chickens, drinks and some nibblies. Another family bring some ham, drinks and nibbles and the other family brings the veges, drinks and some nibbles. My MIL supplies dessert and some nibblies. It isn’t fair for one person to pay and prepare it all.


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